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Super Bowl Cheerleading Controversy: Isolated Incident or Larger Issue?

A Ravens cheerleader has been making headlines for the reasons she says she was banned from cheering on Super Bowl Sunday.

The story of a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who said she was disciplined for weight gain—and believes this is a reason she was left behind from the Super Bowl—has been making headlines across the country.

Cheerleader Courtney Lenz said she thinks her team didn't take her to the Super Bowl was because she gained 1.6 pounds.

Admittedly, her story has changed through the week: Yahoo Sports noted she first said the team was upset because she had chosen to retire at the end of the season. She later told Good Morning America she thought the decision was because of her weigh-in.

The alleged snub led to supporters starting an online petition to reinstate her, The Huffington Post reported. The team has said they picked cheerleaders for the Super Bowl based on seniority, performance and personal conduct.

What do you think of Lenz's claim? Should cheerleaders expect their appearance to affect their job, or should it not be an issue? Does it bring up larger issues of female athletes and body image? Tell us in the comments.

Big Man February 03, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Boo hoo get over it...
Atrain February 03, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Of course appearance affects their job!!! Ever see a bunch of heavy cheerleaders?? Some dumb questions on this site!!
Margaret Carroll-Bergman February 03, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I have to defend the question. At one time flight attendants, once known as stewardesses, had to meet certain standards of weight, beauty, youth, and chest, waist and hip measurements. It was a given that appearance affected their job. Now flight attendants are judged on their ability to perform social work in the air. The same could be said of cheerleading; not that they would have to perform social work, but dance routines and gymnastics, plus this woman was 1.6 pounds over the weight limit. Standards of beauty change are constantly changing.
Mel Cross February 04, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Whats next in the libral veiw? Wheel chair cheerleaders? why should they be denied the ability to to motivate fans to cheer? There is some jobs that not everyone can or should do, and when based on entertainment looks and weight are important qualities. She knew that she had to maintain a certain look, she failed.

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